The Stroud Junior League made a welcome return to the table tennis calendar after a break of eight years, writes Jim Hurford.
Although only five teams entered, there were many excellent matches and the title was only decided after the very last match between Wycliffe Prep ‘A’ and Stroud Table Tennis Club.
Going into the final match, Wycliffe were leading the table by a single point courtesy of a walkover against Wickwar and with unbeaten Hero He in their team along with George Dummer, were favourites for the title.
However, Niall Walker was on form for STTC winning both of his singles matches ending Hero’s unbeaten record in the process.
Harvey Benson went down 1-3 against Hero and George but made them work hard for their wins. Niall and Toby Cawser then teamed in the doubles for an excellent 10-12, 11-8, 7-11, 11-3, 11-8 win to give STTC a 3-2 victory making it a tie at the top.
On count back, Wycliffe had the better of the matches between them winning 4-1 and losing 2-3 giving them a 2-point advantage overall and were declared champions by the closest of margins.
Niall had the consolation of winning the ‘highest average’ award and although he and Hero had both lost once, Niall had played more matches than Hero giving him a better average.
Wycliffe Prep ‘C’ came third only one point behind after a 4-1 victory over their school mates Wycliffe Prep ‘B’.
For ‘C’ Tom Hadley won both of his singles and won the doubles with partner Eddie Blenkinsop. Eddie got the better of Albie James winning 11-8 in the fifth and deciding set.
George Blenkinsop and Albie James represented Wycliffe Prep ‘B’ and were both involved in some very close matches as the team came in fourth spot.
The young Wickwar squad of Alfie Heffernan, George Hill, Ellott Withers and Austin Mclelland found it tough going against their older opponents and although coming away without a win, played enthusiastically and will no doubt have benefited from the experience.